Technical ability is assumed in today’s marketplace for creative services. It is seen clearly in your work, but there are a lot of technically competent professionals available! How do you know what clients are really looking for when they hire? Try out these hiring factors on your work and make sure they are represented in your portfolio, web site and promo pieces.
- Make the client look good. This is a very difficult subject for clients to discuss openly. Your best bet is to be aware of how the project will make them look good to their peers or their boss. This awareness is a potential competitive edge and can create added value to your creative services. To prove your awareness, add related case study anecdotes when creating your marketing materials. Tell the stories of your work with other clients or your work on a public service project. Help the client become the hero. Help them hire you.
- Every client’s dream creative project is the one that eases their frustrations and meets their challenges. Your marketing should address these issues because every client is thinking of it whether they will admit it or not. In addition, it provides a counterpoint to the client’s objection, “We are happy with our supplier”. There is always something that someone has done to frustrate the client or make a project difficult. How can you do better?
- You need to be flexible. This means you will be easy to work with and solve problems, not make more than your clients already have. The problem with this-and many of these factors-is that they are about the working relationship and not about your images. How will the prospective client get to know you are flexible until they’ve worked with you but they won’t give you a job until they know you are flexible? The answer is to demonstrate flexibility in every contact you have with a client. Plan it into your marketing strategy. Add case studies and testimonials to your marketing materials. By the way, flexibility does not mean dropping your price to get the job. See previous blog post on pricing!
- You need to work within the client’s deadline and budget. Again the case study approach in your marketing materials, sales presentations and client testimonials is the best way to demonstrate this very important factor. Think about it, can a client tell the project came in at budget and by deadline by just looking at your work? No! You’ve heard the old saying, “The portfolio speaks for itself”? It does speak to your creative and technical ability but does not speak to any of these other factors.
- Being able to trust you and know your work together is confidential is very important. You can demonstrate your trustworthiness with your marketing presentations. Some ways to do this are: not talking badly about other clients you have, not putting down your competition, and not having other client’s work lying around in full view when the prospective clients visit your studio.
For many clients, you need to show the how you will help them get their job done-better, quicker, faster-by hiring you. A clear competitive edge can be gained when you can demonstrate any of these above factors to your prospective clients.